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Friday saw the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) officially kick off in Wellington, beginning a two month showcase across the country of critically acclaimed films from all corners of the globe.
Headlining films include the first international collaboration from Studio Ghibli—The Red Turtle, a documentary focusing on the asylum story of a Syrian family—A Syrian Love Story, and Wild—a German film analysing one girl’s (sometimes sexual) obsession with a grey wolf.
Alongside such prominent international titles, the NZIFF will also be showcasing New Zealand films made by lesser known filmmakers.
The 5th Eye, by Errol Wright and Abi King-Jones, and Chronesthesia, by Hayden J. Weal, are two of the titles making waves around the festival.
The 5th Eye examines the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and details the story of the Waihopai Three; while Chronesthesia is a time-travel romcom set in Wellington.
“Enabling developing filmmakers to participate helps support the future of the Kiwi film industry,” says the Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Maggie Barry.
“New Zealanders enjoy the experience of going to the movies—we have one of the highest rates of film festival attendance in the world—and the NZIFF is a true celebration of our culture and an opportunity to see some intriguing, exciting, and moving films from around the world.”
The NZIFF was formally created in 2009 after merging numerous smaller film festivals from around the country, namely the Auckland Film Festival and the Wellington Film Festival, and shows 150–170 films each year.